Who’s In It: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Bonnie Wright, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, Helen McCrory, Timothy Spall, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis, Clemence Poesy, Rhys Ifans, Imelda Staunton, Toby Jones

The Basics: Harry Potter and Friends officially leave childhood behind as they head into their final showdown with Lord Voldemort, whose evil goth forces continue their reign of terror on the dandy-clothed wizarding world. As war heats up, Harry, Ron, and Hermione camp out away from danger and have an endless series of angsty conversations while tracking down Voldemort’s remaining soul-container Horcruxes, which leads them to learn about the legend of the Deathly Hallows. The three friends endure loss, separation, isolation, jealousy, torture, and worse as they try to stick together through the most difficult time of their lives and prepare for the all-out battle that will come... in next summer’s Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. Get ready for a long eight months, Potterites.

What’s The Deal: Stakes are high from the get-go in the penultimate Harry Potter installment, which finds Harry and Co. in the midst of war. Terror reigns. People disappear. Other people die. Daniel Radcliffe takes off his clothes. (A lot.) Director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves do a decent job throwing action sequences, fight scenes, and flashes of humor into the mix while advancing the characters and story, but adapting J.K. Rowling’s final novel into two films is both a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, Yates has room to include tiny details, dialogue, and plot points that might otherwise have been cut out for time if Deathly Hallows had been made as a single film, which should please die-hard fans. On the other hand, it throws off the film’s pacing and it ends abruptly with a disappointingly anticlimactic final battle, leaving Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 feeling a bit incomplete as a standalone film.

Is It Too Scary For Kids? Not really, although there is that one giant evil CGI snake that eats people and a few on-screen deaths, the last of which is particularly devastating. More memorable than the killing and the torture and the creatures, however, is the jarring moment of sensuality that occurs when two main teenage characters engage in some sexy tonsil hockey sans clothing, the ultimate sign that the little witches and wizards we’ve watched grow up over the past six films are no longer children. It’s a supernatural vision and the nudity is computer generated, but still. No kid should hit puberty while watching a Harry Potter movie.

Freakiest Scene: Mad-Eye Moody turns a roomful of Potter loyalists into Harry Potter look-alikes to trick attacking Death Eaters, prompting Fleur Delacour (Clemence Poesy) to agonize over how ugly she looks with Daniel Radcliffe’s face on her body. (Ouch.)

Funniest Scene Involving Harry, Ron, And Hermione That Doesn’t Star Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Or Emma Watson: The trio cast a spell that lets them assume the identities of three average Ministry of Magic office employees, allowing them to awkwardly infiltrate the Voldemort-ruled stronghold. Actors David O’Hara, Steffan Rhodri and Sophie Thompson as undercover Harry, Ron and Hermione, respectively, sell it with boldly funny physical performances. Cross your fingers for more scenes with these performers to pop up on the DVD/Blu-ray release.

Characters You’ll Wish You Saw More Of: Anyone not named Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Voldemort. About a bazillion supporting characters show up to put in a scene or two (or die unceremoniously offscreen) leaving you wanting more of the familiar colorful folks we’ve gotten to know in the past six films – another reason you’ll leave Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 thinking that July 2011 can’t come fast enough.

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Comments (17)

jsh101 - 11-19-2010 2:53 PM
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you clearly are not a true fan of HP!!! That movie was in no ways slow or boring. It was right on point as a matter of fact. Are you sure you didn't wander into "Unstoppable"? That was way better than the last installment and PT2 should be even better. Maybe you need to check your ticket and make sure you saw the right movie.

Jb - 11-20-2010 8:21 AM
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T- it's an opinion based on their knowledge of movies. Probably more than you have. Maybe your pockets are being 'lined' by the Anit-Harry Club?

T - 11-20-2010 3:13 PM
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In my opinion, the movie sucked. What is your definition of a true Harry Potter fan? Seeing that you know the existance of an anti-Harry Potter club makes me wonder if you are a true fan.I enjoyed every movie except this one, does not make me an anti-Harry Potter fan. It took the movie two hours and twenty-seven minutes to destroy a Haulcrux and for Harry to learn the story of the Deathly Hallows. Please, that could have been accomplished in an hour. voldemort only appeared twice in the movie and at the end when he held up the wand, the entire audience laughed. Yeah, I give it two stars LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

eeeyypep - 11-20-2010 7:20 PM
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I would have really enjoyed this film if they didn't leave out/change so much. I thought they would have avoided this considering it's split into two parts. People who do not constantly compare the movie to the book (like I do) would probably like it... if they know how to appreciate it. It really is a beautiful film, but honestly, I couldn't enjoy it because I get hung up on little details. btw T firstly, yes it was slow and boring keep in mind it stops in the middle of the story, not even at the climax yet. i think they did a pretty sick job building up to the second part. secondly a haulcrux? wow GTFO it's a horcrux third uh that's how much he appears in the first half of the book.

ninjedi - 11-22-2010 11:39 AM
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I liked it and I know its great to see the story live action on the big screen after only imagining it in your head. BUT there was a HUGE mistake. After Ron destroys the amulet he says only THREE horcuxes left. The movies series has always said 7 existed. Now I'm not a mathamagician but the diary they destroy, thats one, they have voldemorts ring but never destroyed it, thats two, the amulet makes three.... If you are gonna release a multi million dollar movie with the premise being to destroy horcruxes shouldn't you make sure you say the correct number. SEEMED CARELESS

Jim Hill - 11-23-2010 2:32 PM
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ninjedi, there are only 6 horcruxes. Voldermort breaks his soul into 7 pieces, one of which is still in his body, the other 6 sealed in horcruxes. Also, I think (might be wrong though) that Voldermorts ring is destroyed, off screen, by Dumbledore, which is how he gets his hand injury in the previous film

Elle - 11-25-2010 3:05 AM
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The film couldn't be made faster because it would be unfaithful to the book. JKR deliberately prolonged the horcux search to emphasize how difficult it is to find them because the trio barely knows what a horcrux is, let alone how to find them. David Yates RUINED the fifth film because he rushed through scene after scene. He ruined the sixth film in other ways. He finally gave this film the attention to detail he lacked in the 5th and 6th films. He did take license in 7.1 by not killing one of the characters who was supposed to die in a very specific way and that irritated me no end. If he gives the other searches and final battle the respect it deserves, 7.2 is going to be a blast!!

LB - 11-26-2010 8:12 AM
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To Jim Hill, There are actually 7 Horcruxes: Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, the Slytherin Necklace, Hufflepuff's cup, Ravenclaw's diadem, the diary, Nagini, and Harry. Voldemort isn't a horcrux himself; he just has the rest of his soul intact inside himself. Ninjedi could be right about the movie getting it wrong, or the kiddos didn't realize that HP was the last horcrux (remember?).

Amy - 11-26-2010 12:43 PM
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LB ... now THAT'S a true Harry Potter fan. I applaud you.

Ellie - 11-26-2010 3:39 PM
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that was NOT the funniest part of the movie. The funniest part was when everybody looked like Harry so they can escape without getting caught! Now that part was funny

Elle - 11-26-2010 8:37 PM
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At this point of the story, HP is only aware of 6 horcruxes. Voldemort out set out to make six so that, along with his original soul, there would be 7 (the most powerfully magical number). The 7th horcrux (Harry) was unintentional and Voldemort never knew about this. Harry only finds this out at the end of the book that Voldemort accidentally created the 7th when he tried to kill Harry in Godric's Hollow 16 years previously. The movie is correct.

Elle - 11-26-2010 8:39 PM
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Clarification: Voldemort wanted 7 pieces of soul (including his own) so he intentionally made 6 horcruxes.

LB - 11-27-2010 9:22 AM
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Ellie, you are definitely correct about Voldy's intention of making 6 horcruxes total with his soul being piece #7. However, Nagini was the 7th horcrux made, not Harry. In order, the horcruxes are Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, Riddle's Diary, Hufflepuff's Cup, Slytherin's Locket, Ravenclaw's Diadem, Harry Potter (oops, old Voldy didn't see that one coming!), and then Nagini. Voldemort didn't know that HP became a horcrux, so he thought he had to make one more: Nagini. You are also right about the movie being correct, because like I said before the trio don't know yet that HP is a horcrux. At that point three have been destroyed (Gaunt's Ring, Riddle's Diary, and Slytherin's Locket), so they have 3 more to go (Hufflepuff's Cup, Ravenclaw's Diadem,

LB - 11-27-2010 9:25 AM
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and Nagini). Thanks, Ellie! (I got cut off)

luis - 12-04-2010 3:38 PM
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Quite a bit closer to the book, the last film was extremely disapointing. I don't buy that they split it in two to make a better movie, but for the same reason the last was so bad, to put cost down and make more money out of this cash cow

Elle - 12-19-2010 1:06 AM
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ninjed, this is why reading the books is important. In Book 6, Dumbledore tells Harry that he destroyed the ring (and thereby permamently damaging his hand) and that Harry destroyed the Diary in Book 2 without knowing it was a Horcrux. The movie is correct at that point where Ron destroys the locket: 3 left to find and destroy.

Elle - 12-19-2010 1:26 AM
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LB, Dumbledore points out to Harry at the end of book 7 (at King's Cross, p. 709) that he (Harry) Harry was Voldemort's unintentional 7th horcrux. "You were the seventh horcrux, Harry, the one he never intended to make. He had rendered his soul so unstable that it broke apart with those unspeakable acts of evil . . ." We are not exactly sure of the order in which the horcruxes were made. He learned of the whereabouts of Ravenclaw's diadem while he was a student and traveled to Albania shortly after leaving Hogwarts so that could have been the first one he made for all we know.

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